Books, How's This Book?, Review

The Lies of Locke Lamora: Richer and Cleverer Than All the Rest

I’ve slept on this book for a while. Even though I loved it to pieces, I kept finding reasons to not read it. Maybe I just didn’t want it to end? I dunno, god only knows why I do half the things I do.

The Lies of Locke Lamora, book one of the Gentleman Bastards series, stars… Locke Lamora of the Gentleman Bastards, along with the rest of the crew, Jean Tannen, Calo and Galdo Sanza, and Bug. Together, they perform elaborate schemes to trick the rich and mighty of Camore to give them their vast fortunes. However, shortly after beginning their latest scheme, things begin to take a turn in the city. A new figure called the Gray King threatens to overturn the delicate balance of the city, and the Gentleman Bastards are caught in his scheme to do so. Can Locke and his friends find a way to overcome this terrible trial? Or have they finally met someone richer and cleverer than the Gentleman Bastards?

The strongest feature of this book is, without a doubt, the dialogue. This has some of the most natural, entertaining, and clever dialogue I have ever come across in a novel. It’s beautifully vulgar, the sarcasm hilariously dry, and always a pleasure. I smiled practically every time a character opened their mouths!

This is helped by the excellent character writing. I haven’t been as emotionally engaged by a set of characters like the Gentleman Bastards since Bridge 4! These five thieves (six if you count Father Chains in the flashbacks) have some of the most enjoyable chemistry I’ve ever experienced!

Which makes the twist halfway through all the more painful…

Camore as a setting is also spectacular. Scott Lynch does an incredible job fleshing it out, from its culture to its customs and laws. He does this magnificently with some of the Interludes, such as the one breaking down how violently the city’s people reacted to simply losing a sports game. Not only that, but all the little details come back to play a major role in the narrative!

This book just has so many fun scenes! There’s one chapter where Locke has to get new clothes, so he bullshits his way into a waiter’s outfit, which he uses to bullshit his way to a meeting with a powerful bank owner, which he uses to bullshit his way into said owner’s wardrobe! Whether Locke is being a smooth, clever bastard or he’s locked in a casket of horse piss and needs to be saved by his friends, this book is full of shocking and entertaining scenes!

That said, it does have a few duds. For example, near the end of the book when Locke has a hero moment. This scene is a whole lot of Locke begging, a whole lot of him repeating information that we already know, and a whole lot of characters being stupid and making the same repetitive demands. It’s not a very enjoyable scene to read and serves as a painful low right before the grand finale. And that’s just one example; there are more than a few.

Overall, I found The Lies of Locke Lamora to be a wildly entertaining book. From its incredible dialogue to its shocking and wildly entertaining scenes, it was an utter delight to read. I can’t wait to dive into the rest of the series and see just where his adventures go from here.

But before then, I need to go back to a series I’ve left on the shelf for a little while now.

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